What was supposed to be an informative tour of North Korea ended in tragedy when a tour bus flipped over, killing dozens.
According to the BBC News, the crash occurred in North Hwanghae, just south of Pyongyang, late Sunday evening. In all, it is being reported that 36 people have died from their injuries. Approximately 32 of the 36 fatalities were Chinese nationals, who make up 80 percent of foreign tourists to North Korea. The remaining four fatalities were North Koreans.
The New York Post reports that the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred to the bus accident as a “major traffic accident,” but very few additional details as to how the crash happened or if there were any other vehicles involved have yet to be released.
Many photos from the scene show rain falling at the scene of the crash, making many wonder if weather could have played a factor. A Chinese news station also tweeted that the tour bus had fallen off of a bridge, causing it to crash, but that tweet was later deleted.
The Post also states that there were at least two Chinese tourists currently in critical condition at a hospital following the horrific crash. A few videos of the tourists being treated in the hospital have been circulating on different media outlets. The Independent states that a Chinese medical team was also brought in to assist in treating the injured patients. They were accompanied by diplomats.
Up to 36 people killed in North Korea bus crash https://t.co/9VKYgKROJq
— The Independent (@Independent) April 23, 2018
It is also being reported that the four North Koreans killed were actually workers on the bus as North Korea requires that all visitors be accompanied by North Koreans during their visit.
As North Korea and China share a border, communist North Korea welcomes thousands of Chinese tourists to their country every year. ABC Net News claims that North Korea makes about $44 million each year from Chinese tourists visiting the controversial country. In 2012, it was estimated that over 237,000 people from China visited North Korea. By 2013, China stopped publishing tourist statistics for North Korea.
— Press TV (@PressTV) April 23, 2018
For now, many will have to wait for further details as to how the bus crash occurred and whether or not the pouring rain could have played a factor in the crash.